Geordie metalheads Blitzkrieg were, in many ways emblematic of the wave of also-ran bands that followed on from the NWoBHM, a seemingly hapless bunch of chancers who never got the breaks and were condemned to live in the shadow of more famed Euro and Yank counterparts.
However that doesn’t quite paint the full picture of a band that somehow managed to influence Metallica yet couldn’t quite get it together to forge a meaningful career until years after their storied debut saw the life of day. Even then the band were outshone by singer Brian Ross’ other band Satan, whose devastating Court in the Act album is the true classic release from a ‘second wave’ Brit band.
Anyways, you could probably write a book on the whys and wherefores all of this, and we don’t have the time for that at the moment; we’re here to dissect Dissonance’s reissue of A Time for Changes, so here goes…
By the time this album came out the band were essentially dead and buried and at the time it went largely unnoticed thanks to the usual haphazard Neat Records production and the fact that the band were no longer around to promote it. It’s not a bad album, with superior playing (Jim Sirotto and Mick Proctor were a pretty formidable axe team) and some nice song ideas, notably the band’s eponymously titled anthem (later and doubtless lucratively covered, of course, by Metallica) and the Judas Priest-styled pop metal of Pull the Trigger (which, curiously enough was originally recorded by Satan before Ross joined and features guest guitar work from Satan’s Russ Tippins). That Blitzkrieg was effectively a metalised version of Dutch act Focus’ House of the King is neither here nor there; if Lars Ulrich liked it then it must have been a metal classic! Actually the closest thing to real classic metal here is the track that closed the original Side One of the album, the hard-driving Armageddon, a riffy, dynamic beast that ticked all the true metal boxes in 1985.
The other real track of note, Vikings, is a slow-burning balladic epic that, whilst highlighting the frailties in Brian Ross’ voice (and I always found the sound of his voice problematic back in the day, although I can just about accept it now) still does a pretty good headbanging job even in 2017. Another reissue from Dissonance that, whilst it might not be quite the essential purchase that the Cloven Hoof album is, is still worthy of note if you are investigating this era of metal in England.